Investment and purchasing

The University spends roughly £24 million annually on goods and services and seeks to manage its assets responsibly, so our financial decisions are critical for our sustainability impact. Our aim is to contribute to local economies and support social and global justice through ethical investment practices, developing sustainability in our supply chain and Fairtrade.

Our responsible supply chain actions and achievements

  • External assessors NetSustain places our sustainable procurement practice at level three in the Sustainable Procurement Flexible Framework.
  • As members of the Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium we support the adoption of higher standards to address slavery in IT supply chains
  • We invest in FSC certified furniture that complies with our ethical purchasing commitments, including desks and tables with lifetime guarantee and chairs with 5 year guarantees and long wear life fabrics.
  • We joined Gloucestershire Anti-Slavery Partnership and approved its statement in relation to the Modern Slavery Act
  • We exchange furniture, specialist kit and office supplies to avoid making new purchases
  • We won a Highly Commended Green Gown Award in 2017 for our ‘Power of the Purse’ project to drive sustainability improvements and embed circular economy principles into our policy and practice, with an institution wide risk assessment, action on key contracts, training for lead buyers and guidance for all staff

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Finance

In 2022, University of Gloucestershire became one of the first universities in the UK to secure funding linked to our commitment to ESG goals, securing £29million in ESG linked loans that will contribute to supporting our ambitious City Campus development.

Fairtrade accreditation

The University has held Fairtrade status since 2006 and, in 2022, we were accredited to the new Fairtrade standard. We achieved an additional one-star in recognition of our efforts to embed policies that ensure trade justice and ethical procurement and consumption are considered throughout our practices.

Ethical investment

We take our fund management seriously and are committed to regular monitoring and updating of our ethical investment activities, in line with our institutional values and ethos. Our Ethical Investment Policy includes restrictions to the full scope of institutional investments and is signed off by Finance and General Purposes Committee (FGPC). Continuous improvements to this policy include:

  • 2018 – fully divested from fossil fuels across our investment portfolio with immediate effect
  • 2016 – no investments in thermal coal, oil shale and tar sands; widened restrictions on armaments components and services; and linked to EIRIS standard to cover international law on human rights and oil/mining standards.
  • 2008 – no investments in companies associated with tobacco, armaments, human rights abuse, mining or oil.